Solidarity Sing Along -Free Speech Rings

A large crowd gathered for today’s Solidarity Sing Along as it was presumed this was the day that the Walker administration’s controversial Capitol Access Plan would go into effect. It would have required the singers to obtain a permit to gather which the group refused to do on the grounds of the right to free speech. However it was announced that the administration had revised the plan.From Channel3000.com:

MADISON, Wis. —A spokeswoman for Gov. Scott Walker’s administration said no arrests will be made if gatherers at the state Capitol don’t have the required permits to hold a rally.

Department of Administration spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster said Friday that Capitol police are working with singers who come to the Capitol every day to ensure they are in compliance with the new policy.

But Webster said even if they don’t get a permit, no one will be arrested.

DOA clarifies that four or more family members or lobbyists would not be required to obtain permits before entering the Capitol. But state Representative Chris Taylor of Madison says the policy remains problematic. “There’s still a requirement that four or more people who are gathered in the public areas in the Capitol, advocating on any issue, have a permit,” says Taylor. “I do think they are improved, but I still think there’s constitutional concerns.”

Webster says DOA continues to work with the Solidarity Singers, a group which has gathered both in the rotunda and on the Capitol steps for months — and whose organizers say they have no plans to obtain permits. “As they move inside on Monday, that’s when I think the rules will first be truly tested,” says Stacy Harbaugh with the ACLU, adding that her organization will review the changes before considering any action. Solidarity Singers organizer Chris Reeder estimated Friday’s crowd at about 300 people who gathered on the Capitol’s State Street steps, singing seasonal carols rewritten to reflect recall Walker sentiments.

Here is video from the Sing’s last song of the day–Solidarity Forever. It includes an impromtu energetic reprise at the end…

Most of the songs today were holiday songs from thegroup’s Holiday Songbook. (pdf)

Here is video from today of White Christmas or as it’s known in WI– “I’m Dreaming of a New Governor”. The lyrics are included…sorry no bouncing ball though

UPDATE: Capitol Access Plan Tweaked, “remains substantially unchanged.”

From WRN:

Minor alterations have been made to the Walker administration’s rules governing access to the state Capitol. Department of Administration spokesperson Jocelyn Webster says the policy, first announced earlier this month, remains substantially unchanged. “Really there are no changes,” says Webster. “In deference to the public who might be reading this policy . . . we just wanted to make it clear who the permitting process applies to.”

DOA clarifies that four or more family members or lobbyists would not be required to obtain permits before entering the Capitol. But state Representative Chris Taylor of Madison says the policy remains problematic. “There’s still a requirement that four or more people who are gathered in the public areas in the Capitol, advocating on any issue, have a permit,” says Taylor. “I do think they are improved, but I still think there’s constitutional concerns.”

Webster says DOA continues to work with the Solidarity Singers, a group which has gathered both in the rotunda and on the Capitol steps for months — and whose organizers say they have no plans to obtain permits. “As they move inside on Monday, that’s when I think the rules will first be truly tested,” says Stacy Harbaugh with the ACLU, adding that her organization will review the changes before considering any action. Solidarity Singers organizer Chris Reeder estimated Friday’s crowd at about 300 people who gathered on the Capitol’s State Street steps, singing seasonal carols rewritten to reflect recall Walker sentiments.

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